The Garden Haul Comes In.

Interrupting the recipes for a quick update on the garden foods.

Well, we’re not quite there yet. Beans are not yet ripe, neither are tomatoes. Still got plenty of greens to harvest, as well as around 4/5 of the potatoes. The carrots and beets and turnips could do with another growth spurt too. But both in preparation for moving and because things ripen at different speeds, a load of stuff has already been coming in.

The raspberry bushes. Not actually “ours”. Wild-seeded.

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Raspberry, strawberry and blackcurrant jam prep.

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This year’s attempt at restocking the jam supplies. Got blackberry jam to make soon, then elderberry jam and apple sauce. Hopefully plum jams, but we don’t grow our own so that depends on overstock from neighbours.

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Just a little peek into the top of our bag of frozen blackberries. Pretty much every time I’ve gone out, I’ve been picking early blackberries and freezing them. The picture doesn’t show it well, but the bag has around 1.5-2L of blackberries in it. They will need rinsing from frozen, defrosting gently, adding to however many fresh ones I can gather as September advances, then stewing down for more jams!

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The very last batch of rhubarb. Probably going to be a tart, or maybe a sweet sauce for topping a flan. Now’s time to move the plant roots into pots, to move down to our new place, ready to plant out next Spring.

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Around 1/10 of the potatoes, because we ate half of this batch before I took a photo. Digging them up 1/5 at a time, starting with the shallow ones, to prevent parasites and rot from getting them first. They’re possibly the starchiest potatoes I have ever had. 😀

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And finally some of the greens we are growing. No pesticides, so a bit nibbled, but fine to eat.

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Here are some fresh greens, early beans and herbs being prepped for a stew.

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In short, the garden is serving us well this year.

Sadly my pea plants were not as robust as the beans, though, and produced only a handful of pods before succumbing to the sun during my week of absence. There’s always next year, though!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.
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WWW. Cheap to Glorious Burgers and Frozen Cakes.

Seeing as Jon’s work is now very different, the Wok will be a little different. Rather than making the nicest, most elaborate or most interesting meal on Wednesday, I will make them as and when he needs them and choose the best food of the week for the Wonderful Wednesday Wok instead.

This week, the main’s some burgers that I made turning cheap, value brand, reduced price beef mince into something with the bite and texture of steak mince and the flavour of a BBQ patty. And the pudding’s an ice-cream cake in a cup I made for Valentine’s day. There were five flavours: pear, blackberry, pear and currant, strawberry and peach. I had the pear and currant one as a carby treat on Valentine’s, but the rest were Jon’s for the week.

The rest of the Valentine's meal.

The rest of the Valentine’s meal.

Cheap to Glorious Burgers.

Ingredients:

-500g cheap mince; ground beef is not suitable, but cheap, unfrozen pork mince or turkey mince would work too

-1 egg

-2tsp herbs

-2tsp onion granules

-2tsp paprika

-2tsp salt

-1tsp pepper

-1tsp soy sauce

-butter or tallow for frying

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-frying pan

Recipe:

1: With high quality beef you’re told not to overwork the mince or the burger will lose its consistency. With cheap mince you want to do the opposite. Mash it together before adding the spices and the egg. Mash thoroughly until everything is mixed in.

2: Form patties by making a ball, flattening it in the palms of your hands and pinching the middle so it’s got a little “bowl” at either side. This ensures good browning and even cooking.

3: Heat the fat in the pan at medium temperature until all melted. Add the burgers.

4: Cook for 5 minutes either side.

5: Serve with sides of choice. I went for salad, Jon went for beans and cheese.

The burger’s texture is firm and meaty, the taste is subtle, salty and very beefy, the grease levels are minimal and the crust on the outside tastes of soy sauce BBQ.

burgj

burga

Fruity Ice-Cream Cake in a Cup.

Ingredients:

-1 conference pear

-1 peach

-15 blackberries

-8 strawberries

-40g mixed currants

-150ml double cream

-50g 85% chocolate

-80g 55% chocolate

Utensils:

-microwaveable bowl and a fork (not to be put in microwave, obviously)

-chopping board and knife

-mixing bowl and blender / food processor

-jelly molds or other freezable cups/pots

Recipe:

1: Crush the 85% chocolate and share between the bases of the containers.

2: Cut up whatever mix of fruit you like and share between the bases of the containers, leaving room for the chocolate ice cream to drip through.

3: Microwave the cream and 55% chocolate together on medium until they form a smooth chocolate paste.

4: Share the paste between the containers, making sure to get it down into the chocolate later and to cover the fruit. Freeze.

5: Blend the remaining fruit into a smoothie-like paste.

6: Once the chocolate ice cream is frozen, add the fruit paste on top and refreeze.

7: To serve, gently warm the container’s sides only, turn it upside down and squeeze or tap until the cake is released. Leave a little to soften for easy eating.

Pear and currant version.

Pear and currant version.

So those were, in my opinion, the best meals we had this week. What was the best meal you had this week? Recipes, anyone? 🙂

TTFN and Happy Hunting!